Poetry

‘At Least the Dead Don’t Need To be Shushed’ and other poems

By: Richard LeDue

At Least the Dead Don’t Need To be Shushed

My second job interview was easy
since I had found a grant
that paid over half my wages,
so I spent a summer in a library
putting books back where they belonged,
but I was enchanted by the amount of words
hiding behind the covers,
like ghosts under sheets,
except I was too young to know
I should have been scared,
and that that phantom immortality
could go missing for weeks
because someone decided to fix a table
with a short leg.

###

On Reading Plath Once Again

Death sits comfortably between her lines-
the page white as snow ruined by footprints
that never truly go anywhere,
and I’m certain she knew it was there,
waiting like weather does
for its turn to take over a landscape
our eyes can’t escape,
while nights pass dreamlessly,
leading to a dawn where breath
dances in frigid air,
supposedly proving we have a soul,
but really just more evidence
of how easily parts of us disappear.

###

An Awkward Poem

This page is like walking barefoot
in snow, when all you want
is someone to hold your hand,
or to hear what you already know,
as they tell the same story they’ve told
you so many times over the years,
while written words give you
the silent treatment-
always winning by making you speak
first, proving how cold feet
on Saturday mornings
are better off with ugly Christmas gift socks
(that left you speechless
until you said an obligatory “thank you”
a few seconds too late),
instead of the collected works of
another dead poet.

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